Since 2006, Caerphilly County Borough Council has invested £2.5 million towards the refurbishment of 11 of the county borough's 18 Library facilities.
Several of our library buildings have received makeovers in the last few years including Deri, Pengam, Rhymney, Nelson and Abertridwr and we have just completed the transformation of Bargoed.
The refurbishments, renovations and, in some instances, relocation of the county borough's Libraries has resulted in an impressive increase in visits and in book borrowing. In the past 4 years visits to Libraries has increased by 11% and over the same period book borrowing has increased by 15%.
Bargoed Library in particular has seen a massive increase in visitors, with 164,000 people crossing the threshold in the first year of operation, demonstrating a 134% improvement on the previous year.
Other Libraries which have been relocated to renovated buildings have also seen substantial increases in visits from previous years. Risca Library, which is now located in the renovated former Palace Cinema saw a 96% improvement in visitor numbers in its first year of operation compared to the previous year, and Abercarn Library, which opened in May 2012 has already recorded a significant 58% increase in book borrowing by children and young people between June and December 2012 when compared with the same period in 2006, when the library was in its former home.
Bargoed Library new development
Probably the most impressive development to date is the recently opened new library facility in Bargoed which officially opened its doors to the public 26th October 2011.
As part of the regeneration of the town centre, the library was moved to temporary accommodation at St. Gwladys Chapel in November 2008 and the old library was demolished.
Three years in the planning and building, the new Bargoed Library is now housed in the Baptist Chapel on Hanbury Road. The Grade 2 listed building has been sympathetically restored in keeping with it's historic significance whilst at the same time housing all the modern facilities that a 21st Century library needs.
The congregation of the baptist chapel have found a new and improved home on the lower floor of the building where a worshipping space has been retained. Likewise residents are now able to access all the facilities of the councils Customer Services Team who are located on the Hanbury Road level to deal with payments, queries and much more.
When the library was moved to it's temporary location many of it's resources, in particular it's family history collection, were also moved until a permanent home was ready. Now these resources have been returned to the library and are in full operation in new and improved surroundings.
The exciting fusion of both traditional and contemporary styles and services will ensure that this landmark building remains at the heart of the community in Bargoed and remains fit for purpose well into the future. It also demonstrates the commitment of the library service to preserving our past whilst at the same time promoting our future.
Blackwood Library refurbishment
Blackwood Library has now re-opened following major refurbishments. The library has been completely redesigned and brought right up to date with new furniture and a bright and airy interior to complement the size and shape of the building.
Risca Library new development
The new library at Risca opened on 10 December 2011. Also on site is a new Tesco Express store.
The façade of the old Palace Cinema remains but behind the famous frontage, things are very different. The building houses state-of-the-art library facilities in an open, bright and welcoming atmosphere and the new furniture and fittings add to the ambience.
In addition to the library services offered in the new building, Risca residents can take full advantage of the council's Customer Services Team who are based in the same building. Residents can pay their rent whilst at the same time picking up a book or DVD and getting information on a wide range of council services.
Newbrige Library relocation to Newbridge Memo
For many years there has been a need to move the library in Newbridge to new and more spacious accommodation, as there has been a realisation that it's present size and location is far from ideal.
Now the library has been offered space within the prestigious Newbridge Memo restoration. The historic building, which was once a bustling social venue in the heart of the local community, will now be transformed as part of a major improvement scheme that will see the whole building receive a facelift. As part of this, the library will move in to the High Street site and take it's place in the heart of the community.
The library will benefit from more space, a light and airy interior and new fixtures and fittings and residents will benefit from an improved facility right in the centre of the town. All new library developments are planned around a need to maximise space available for the public and Newbridge Library is no exception.
Further information including photographs will be available here as the project progresses.
Abercarn Library new development
The new library at Abercarn opened on Wednesday 30th May 2012 and offers a stunning new facility in the heart of the village. Situated on the site of the old library building, the new library boasts state of the art furniture and fittings and panoramic views of the valley together with a small Community Café. Children and Adults are well catered for in the library with a host of books in different formats, free use of the public access computers and DVDs and CDs available for a small charge. The library is a third larger than the old facility and with ten apartments for older people on the same site is a welcome addition to Abercarn.
For any other information please call the library on 01495 244393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caerphilly Library development
Caerphilly town centre's new state of the art Library and Customer Service Centre is beginning to take shape as construction work now enters a new phase.
The new statement community facility will replace existing Council services based in Morgan Jones Park and Park Lane and will be five times larger than Caerphilly's present library. Built as part of ongoing regeneration projects in the county borough, the spacious new building will be fully equipped to meet the future needs of residents, offering a wide range of new and enhanced services.
Cllr Rhianon Passmore, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning said, "Situated right at the heart of the town centre, this modern facility will be a real social and educational asset to the residents of Caerphilly and its surrounding areas. Residents will be able to enjoy access to more than 50,000 resources and a range of services in a comfortable and stylish setting, which will include the best mix of innovative design and engaging customer considered furnishings."
Services to be offered in the new building include an extensive dedicated lending library for children and adults, a museum area with considerable study space, a young people's space along with learning and community meeting rooms. Free wireless Internet facilities throughout the building will enhance the customer experience along with a convenient Customer Service Centre with dedicated meeting rooms, reception, and payment facilities to support residents with all council related queries.
Carter Lauren Construction, the main contractor on the project, has already completed the main concrete foundations along with structural steelwork, despite recent difficult weather conditions. Construction of upper floors will commence next week followed by the roof structure at the end of February. Internal walls and main service runs will begin upon completion of the external wall construction.
For more information on any of these projects, please contact Library Headquarters on Tel 01443 864068 or email email@example.com.